The local cable company has several virtues. It uses a “cable ready” analog transmission system that doesn’t require a converter box (allowing one to easily watch Showtime and tape HBO). It has rock solid home broadband support (from a guy named Nevin). It has The Food Network to warm this food geek’s heart. It is owned by the local municipality, and, so while it may lack a little flash, it is rather cheap.
What it also has, however, is a variety of truly local programming that I sometimes don’t agree with. One such bit of programming is station broadcast from just north of here that I can only classify as a “Christian Right Bible Channel”. This is a station programmed by folks who seem to have a serious problem with evolution and anything else that contradicts a literal reading of the Bible. Now don’t get me wrong; they have just as much right to be on the air as anyone else and speak their piece. I’m just glad that I am not forced to watch this station.
I do catch interesting tidbits every once in a while, between rebroadcasts of The 700 Club, however. Last night, I was scanning over the television listings when I saw something about Harry Potter and Halloween. What it turned about to be was a low budget expose about how Halloween, books like Harry Potter, and shows like Charmed and Buffy The Vampire Slayer are endangering the souls of young people by popularizing interest in the occult.
Of particular interest was the reference to a particular film, Halloween: Trick or Treat?. The lead-in for discussing the movie ran something like this:
On Halloween, your children are dressing up like ghouls and goblins to collect their favorite candy treats in the heart of town. Meanwhile, outside of town, pagans and wiccans dance in circles to contact the spirits of the dead and celebrate the pagan rites of Samhain. Even further out of town, real modern day satanic cult members are sacrificing children to the Prince of Darkness.
Let us count the number of “hand-me-down” pagan traditions that still survive in the modern Christian world, shall we? Christmas trees. Yule logs. Mistletoe. Easter eggs. Easter bunnies. Phrases like “knock on wood”. Even the use of Sunday as the Sabbath is a relic of the old Roman association of Christianity with the cult of the eastern Mediterranean god Helios — the Sun god.
Me, I’m not going to worry about that. I think I’m going to go to the Halloween fair at the elementary school where Fiancee S. teaches and maybe give out some candy when we get home. And oh yes, pass the candy corn. Candy corn is the best thing about Halloween in my book.